Editor’s note: While this article was written before the coronavirus pandemic, many of the ideas can be adapted to work for virtual or socially distanced situations.

Parent groups are often asked to help celebrate kindergarten graduation, 5th grade graduation, or other classes moving up from one elementary school to a different school. Some schools go all out with diploma ceremonies akin to high school graduations, while others keep it simple and offer the students a small gift. Here are some great ideas on elementary school graduation celebrations and gifts.

Celebrations

  • 5th grade dance with a DJ and snacks

  • Graduation ceremony followed by barbecue

  • "Congratulations, Graduate" yard signs

  • Graduation parade (drive-through or on foot)

  • Ceremony followed by movie with photos and video of students

  • Year-end Zoom or Google Classroom meetings or YouTube livestream

  • Sharing graduation photos on Twitter

  • End-of-year awards and certificates ceremony

  • All-day picnic

  • Off-site party with DJ, photo booth, and face-painting

  • A day at a local park with team games and snacks

  • Yearbook signing

  • Student versus teacher outdoor volleyball tournament

  • Shout-outs to graduates on local TV networks and cable access channels

  • Pool party with snacks

  • Boat cruise

  • Bagel breakfast at school

  • Slideshow of baby pictures featuring the graduates

Lots of balls in the air? Show those year-end PTO tasks who’s boss before summer

Elementary School Graduation Gifts

  • Class memory book

  • T-shirt printed with names of each graduate

  • Build-your-own-mascot kit

  • T-shirt designed by a student

  • Plain T-shirt signed by fellow students

  • Class photo

  • Backpack with middle school logo

  • Free yearbook

  • Tote bag and beach towel

  • DVD with photos and video of students

  • Spiritwear item from middle school they will attend

For more graduation t-shirt ideas, read T-Shirt Slogan and Design Ideas for 5th Grade Graduation (and More).

Originally posted in 2014 and updated regularly.